Cheers West Edition

CHEERS: Local student places fourth in county Spelling Bee

Fifth grader Akia Allan was one of the 115 final contestants out of 23,000 participants to compete at the Los Angeles County Scripps Regional Spelling Bee Feb. 8.

After nearly six hours, the K. Anthony School student finished in fourth place while the three finalists were sixth and seventh grade students.

Earlier in the day, Allan participated in a spelling bee sponsored by the Parenting OC Magazine and tied for first place with two other students.

Lawndale High School student Kiyaam Cooksey has been chosen Youth of the Year for Challengers Boys and Girls Club, the highest honor a member can receive.

The 18-year-old received the recognition based on his character, leadership skills and willingness to give back to the community, according to a spokesperson.

In addition, he also received a $1,000 scholarship and will compete through multiple competitions to possibly win the national contest, which awards multiple scholarships totaling over $50,000.

Pacific Battleship Center has selected Yvette Chappell-Ingram to be this year’s recipient of the Admiral Samuel L. Gravely Service & Leadership Award.

Chappell-Ingram is president and CEO of the African American Board Leadership Institute whose mission is to prepare and place African Americans on governing boards.

The award recognizes African Americans leaders in Southern California who exemplify the trailblazing, courageous service of the late U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely.

Compiled by Shawnte Passmore. 

Cheers! features the everyday accomplishments of everyday people in South Los Angeles. To submit an item, send an email (with picture) to


Kiyaam Cooksey
Kiyaam Cooksey
Yvette Chappell-Ingram
Yvette Chappell-Ingram